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January 25, 2019
Reaction to Governor Evers' State of the State Address
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On Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers gave his first State of the State address. Given annually, this speech is his opportunity to speak to both the Assembly and Senate about how Wisconsin is currently doing and outline his priorities for the upcoming year. Afterwards, my aide Alex and I had the honor of visiting briefly with the governor and his wife at the governor's residence.


Although it was encouraging to hear that Governor Evers wants to work with the Legislature to work together for the people of Wisconsin, I don't believe he accurately portrayed of the current state of our state.


Under Republican leadership, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is experiencing its 11th straight month at or below 3 percent; Wisconsin families have the lowest tax burden in nearly 50 years; and we have the largest "rainy day fund" in history. Our state economy, combined with our principled management, have now produced eight consecutive years of budget surpluses. Despite Governor Evers' report, our economy is thriving!


We must continue to look forward, and it is important to work with Governor Evers on issues that will have bipartisan support. The middle-class income tax cut announced earlier this month—which fulfills one of Governor Evers’ campaign promises—and the strong bipartisan support and passage of Assembly Bill 1, which protects pre-existing conditions, are just two examples of how we can work together for the people of this state.


As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  Best wishes on your weekend!


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Protecting those with Pre-Existing Conditions




Recently, I shared with you the news that Assembly Republicans’ first order of business in 2019 is following through with an important promise that we made to you last year.  And this week, we have done just that.  Assembly Bill (AB) 1, the Preexisting Conditions Guaranteed Coverage Act, passed in the Assembly this week by a vote of 76-19 and now awaits action in the State Senate before heading to Governor Tony Evers.


Our bill does NOT replicate the entire federal Affordable Care Act.  There are serious problems with the federal law that have never been resolved, and there is legitimate uncertainty as to whether or how the federal law will continue to exist in the future.  That’s bad news for the 850,000 Wisconsinites (that’s one in every six people) who have medical conditions that could prevent them from buying health insurance on their own if the federal Affordable Care Act ever goes away.  Eight percent of Wisconsinites have some form of diabetes.  Half a million have asthma.  Sadly, there will likely be 34,000 new cancer diagnoses in our state this year alone.  If we do nothing in state law, every person who has a preexisting condition such as these ones could be at risk.


AB 1 (click here to read the full text and the “plain English” summary) would provide FOUR important protections that will kick in if federal protections ever go away: (1) a health insurance company can’t deny you the option to purchase a policy because you have a preexisting condition; (2) the insurer can’t refuse to provide services you need to treat a preexisting condition; (3) the insurer can’t charge you a higher premium based on your health status; AND, at the suggestion of Democrats, (4) the insurer can’t impose either an annual or a lifetime limit on coverage.


We kept our word.  Ensuring access to insurance coverage for preexisting health conditions was our first priority!

Celebrating a Hero
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I was honored to join Don Harder in the celebration of his 100th birthday. Don is a decorated WWII veteran who served his country faithfully by flying in 31 missions as a gunner and a radio operator over his three years of service.


Don is a model resident of the Village of Oostburg, and is very active in the American Legion, VFW, and First Presbyterian Church. Please join me in saying happy 100th birthday to Don!  

Listening Sessions
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Another reminder that I will be having two listening sessions in Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls to discuss the issues that affect our area. I apologize for any confusion that my last E-Update may have caused regarding the dates of these sessions. 


The times and locations are as follows:


January 28th, 2019

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Mead Public Library

710 N 8th St, Sheboygan, WI 53081


Sheboygan Falls

January 28th, 2019

4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library

330 Buffalo St, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085


I understand that we may have some winter weather heading our way, but I will be there no matter what and hope to see as many of you there as possible. If you are unable to attend, please know that you can always contact my office at 608-266-0656 or at Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov.